Experimental investagation of drag reduction effects of polymer additives on turbulent pipe flow

Zeybek, Şerife
Since the discovery of the drag reduction effects of even small amount of macromolecules in solutions in turbulent pipe flows, there have been many experimental and theoretical studies in order to understand mechanisms behind this phenomenon. Theories have been proposed based on the observations on the change in the characteristics of the turbulent flow near the pipe wall where friction of the momentum transfer between the flow and the conduit takes place. In this study drag reduction in fully developed turbulent pipe flow with four concentrations (200 to 500 wppm) of low molecular weight Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) in aqueous solutions was investigated experimentally. Drag reduction was determined by pressure drop measurements. In order to observe the impact of the presence of CMC on the flow, Ultrasound Doppler Velocimetry (UDV) was employed to monitor the instantaneous velocity distributions. UDV is a non-invasive technique allowing one to obtain quick velocity profiles. Experimental measurements were used to calculate Fanning friction factor and radial distributions of the axial time-averaged velocity, velocity fluctuation (turbulent intensity) and eddy viscosity. The drag reduction level was determined through the Fanning friction factor versus Reynolds number data. Velocity data could be obtained as close as 3 mm to the wall by UDV. Two impacts of increasing CMC concentration on the flow field, hence pressure drop, were observed. The first effect was the decrease of the mean velocity gradient especially near the wall with increasing polymer amount which in turn gave rise to lower friction factor or pressure drop. In addition smaller eddy viscosities were obtained in the flow. The second impact of the polymer addition was on the velocity fluctuation or turbulent intensity variation along the radial distribution. An increasing trend in turbulence intensity


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Citation Formats
Ş. Zeybek, “Experimental investagation of drag reduction effects of polymer additives on turbulent pipe flow,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2005.